Anne Hathaway has revealed why Christopher Nolan bans chairs on the sets of his movies. The actress worked with the director on The Dark Knight Rises and Interstellar, where cellphones were also banned. Nolan has a vision and is driven to get things done the way he wants them done, which even includes the release dates of his movies. His upcoming movie Tenet was supposed to open in theaters next month, but will now open in August, which was definitely not a choice the director wanted to make.
Anne Hathaway spoke with her former Les Míserables costar Hugh Jackman in a recent interview where they discussed what it was like working with Christopher Nolan. Jackman worked with Nolan on 2006’s The Prestige. The two actors were talking about directors who ban cellphones on the set, with Jackman only naming two, forgetting about his experience with Nolan. “I don’t want to contradict you,” Hathaway said. “But you’ve worked with three directors that don’t allow cellphones: Christopher Nolan.” Jackman then recalls, “Oh, that’s right.”
The cellphone ban is something that makes sense right off the bat. The devices mostly just cause distraction and take actors out of the headspace that they need to be in. But chairs? That seems a little over the top, though Anne Hathaway reveals that there is a really good reasoning behind it. She explains.
“Chris also doesn’t allow chairs. I worked with him twice. He doesn’t allow chairs, and his reasoning is, if you have chairs, people will sit, and if they’re sitting, they’re not working. I mean, he has these incredible movies in terms of scope and ambition and technical prowess and emotion. It always arrives at the end under schedule and under budget. I think he’s onto something with the chair thing.”
Along with the ban of cellphones and chairs, Chris Nolan also did not allow water bottles to be used on the set of 2017’s Dunkirk. Actor Barry Keoghan says, “They’re distractions – the noise of [the bottles], they’re like toys almost, playing around with toys.” It sounds like Nolan is more than a little particular on the sets of his movies, but he delivers the goods each time and you don’t really hear any actors saying anything negative about working with him.
In most cases, the actors working with Christopher Nolan end up coming back for more fun on the set, which does not include sitting down. While some of these policies seem unusual, they keep everybody where they need to be, without distractions. Much like how the experience should be when you’re watching one of Christopher Nolan’s movies in a movie theater. As for when you’ll be able to do that again, it’s looking like August 12th will be the day for Tenet, though that could obviously change at any moment now. The interview between Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman was originally conducted by Variety.